Irish Water will open a consultation process today on providing a new source of water for Dublin and the eastern and midlands region.
Its working paper identifies four options and it is encouraging the public and interested groups to give their views. Irish Water has predicted that demand for water in Dublin alone is set to increase by more than 50 per cent by 2050 and says saving water from conservation programmes and leakage reductions won’t be enough to deliver the water needed.
The options include taking water directly from Lough Derg, taking it from Lough Derg and storing it and taking water directly from the Parteen Basin. The fourth involves desalination.
Irish Water's head of asset strategy Jerry Grant said the eastern and midlands region urgently needed a new source of drinking water and work had been ongoing to secure this for more than a decade. "Irish Water wants to engage with people on how we are going to look at and assess the viable options to meet that need moving forward in order to ensure security of supply and economic growth for the eastern and midlands Region as well as the country as a whole," he said.
Irish Water hopes to identify an emerging preferred option by late 2015, after the public consultation and on-site studies in the four areas.
Mr Grant said the agency aimed to submit a planning application to An Bord Pleanála in mid-2017. The working paper is available in county libraries and local authority planning offices within the study area. It can be downloaded from watersupplyproject.ie.
The consultation closes on August 4th.